Department of Design
Curated by Timoni West.
Primarily focused on product design, technology, cognitive psychology, and the brain. Also—pretty pictures, sometimes moving.
Kate Losse, The Myth of Magical Futures.
Losse nails it. Having women in power in business in 2014 means that woman is still working within a hierarchy originally created, and maintained to this day, by men.
I think it’s unfortunate that when we talk about changing gender roles at work, we don’t talk about men much. But—forgive my generalizations for a minute—men are more hierarchical than women, more likely to be competitive, more used to power and dominance ruling social interactions. This is not the norm for everyone, this is the norm for men, and that is why it is the norm at work.
I’ve very excited about to see, later in life, is how company structures change as more women are granted power. Will CEOs still exist? Boards of directors?
I have a hunch that, in any case, bad behavior will be less tolerated, and toxic work situations less common, as the gender dynamic changes. Right now, powerful people are allowed to walk into meetings, scream and harange, and have no repercussions. They can be generally patronizing, insulting, or dismissive, and keep their jobs. In the current business world, there is often no correlation made between being good at one’s job and being an emotionally healthy person.
I’ve been lucky at my jobs, but I’ve certainly heard horror stories about terrible bosses of both genders. But the fact is that bad male bosses are generally tolerated, and sometimes idealized, or even deified. Imagine Sharon Stone yelling “Coffee is for closers.” Imagine Gordan Gekko, played by Glenn Close. Milla Jovovich as Chris Varick.
Imagine if Steve Jobs was a woman. Spoiler: he would have been described as ‘shrill,’ and he would not be CEO.
Embedded in the work harder, earn more ethos is an unspoken, unhealthy and inaccurate implication: suffering (working “hard”) is equivalent to value creation.
The problem here is not-so-much in that it forces people to work more than they need to, although that is unhealthy and damaging in itself. The real crime here is that this belief obscures what is truly important in earning more: creating tangible value in the world and having a bigger impact.